January 2013 Media Thread

post by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:20:18.676Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 83 comments

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. I find that exposure to LW ideas makes me less likely to enjoy some entertainment media that is otherwise quite popular, and finding media recommended by LWers is a good way to mitigate this. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.



Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:16:59.567Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Short Online Texts Thread

Replies from: gwern, Anatoly_Vorobey, wallowinmaya
comment by gwern · 2013-01-08T17:35:53.662Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ken Liu's "Single-Bit Error" was an interesting reply to Chiang's "Hell is the Absence of God".

comment by Anatoly_Vorobey · 2013-01-08T16:55:34.896Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Connie Willis wrote several SF works around the theme of historians in 21st century Oxford travelling back in time as part of their studies. The short story Fire Watch is online and serves as a good introduction. If you like it a lot, you should probably try reading To Say Nothing of the Dog or Doomsday Book.

Replies from: djcb
comment by djcb · 2013-01-20T19:35:34.209Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Overall, I did like Blackout/All-Clear, but the aspects of time-traveling and universe taking a special interest in human-level 'big happenings' were unconvincing for me.

Not really the point of the story of course, but if one introduces time-traveling in a story, it should be thought trough a bit more, I think.

comment by David Althaus (wallowinmaya) · 2013-01-08T14:41:03.245Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

A great short story called On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning by Haruki Murakami. It's only 3 pages long and really touching, especially for those of us unsuccessfully dabbling in romance.

comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:16:50.652Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Online Videos Thread

Replies from: rxs, Kaj_Sotala, beriukay, None
comment by rxs · 2013-01-17T09:04:18.268Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Michael Vasser - Darwinian Method - Interview with Adam Ford is pretty damm excellent


Rest of Adam Ford's uploads seem very interesting too!

comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2013-01-08T06:13:04.414Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Departing Space Station Commander Provides Tour of Orbital Laboratory.

In her final days as Commander of the International Space Station, Sunita Williams of NASA recorded an extensive tour of the orbital laboratory and downlinked the video on Nov. 18, just hours before she, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency departed in their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft for a landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan. The tour includes scenes of each of the station's modules and research facilities with a running narrative by Williams of the work that has taken place and which is ongoing aboard the orbital outpost.

comment by beriukay · 2013-01-08T11:25:59.846Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Tempo. From the group that made the short video Plot Device, Tempo is about some scientists who make a gun that can temporally accelerate/decelerate objects with the flick of a switch. The plot is pretty B-movie and obvious, but it feels like this could be a Valve game on the level of Portal. The acting's pretty good, too.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-01-11T13:19:42.401Z · LW(p) · GW(p)


I've collected music videos since the mid 1980s. Electronic and experimental and strange, mostly. Being able to link to or download videos instead of dub them on videotape has nearly filled a TB drive and inspired my blog. Rather than list a few recent favorites, see above for years of favorites. I post weekly, my fellow intonarumorons irregularly.

comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:16:24.968Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fanfiction Thread

Replies from: gwern
comment by gwern · 2013-01-08T17:40:31.337Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Following Eliezer's quasi-recommendation, I began reading "Prince of the Dark Kingdom"; 6 or 7 days later, I stumbled out having caught up on all 1.14M words.

I'm not entirely sure why I like it; the author's spelling, for example, hasn't improved over 5 years which is pretty irritating. I think what I like about it is that:

  1. Voldemort seems like a much more developed and interesting character than pretty much anywhere else except MoR (much more so than the depicted version of Wizarding England which is basically a better-functioning sort of Nazi England).
  2. the plot is totally different but at the same thing often very similar (I found how it pulled the Chamber of Secrets plotline very interesting)
Replies from: drethelin
comment by drethelin · 2013-01-08T20:12:40.604Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I found the cliched new orphan characters pretty obnoxious, like Popular Girl (whose name I can't remember). Does this end quickly or improve?

Replies from: gwern
comment by gwern · 2013-01-08T20:14:22.523Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Popular Girl drops out pretty quickly; I think in the last third or so, you literally only hear of her every 10 chapters or so as mentioning that she's still taking care of Harry's snake. I don't know if it improves overall.

comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:16:15.131Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Nonfiction Books Thread

Replies from: gwern, Vaniver, Jabberslythe, Mitchell_Porter
comment by gwern · 2013-01-08T17:52:05.289Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

In descending order (reviews on Goodreads):

  • Cleckley, The Mask of Sanity
  • Hoffer, The True Believer
  • Huxley, The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell
  • Montfort, 10 Print Chr$(205.5+rnd(1)); Goto 10
  • Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle
  • Good, Good Thinking: The Foundations of Probability and Its Applications
Replies from: Kaj_Sotala
comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2013-01-08T21:05:42.352Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Out of curiosity - you've ranked a lot of books on Goodreads. How well does its recommendations algorithm work for you?

Replies from: gwern, Jabberslythe
comment by gwern · 2013-01-08T22:02:20.523Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Terrible. Their search is also pretty bad (colons, for some reason, are magical characters that make perfectly spelled titles match nothing at all).

comment by Jabberslythe · 2013-01-08T22:19:43.792Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've ranked about 500 as well and I also think the recommendation system sucks. The most common explanation it gives for a book recommendation is that I've added some other individual book. I would want it to give me recommendation based off of multiple books based off of what people on the site who also liked those same books also liked. It also almost never updates.

comment by Vaniver · 2013-01-11T01:50:32.916Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I just read Ben Franklin's autobiography, aided by textcelerator (made by jimrandomh). I had only read bits and pieces before, and the whole is worthwhile. He was a definite precursor of the LW sort of rationality, and to read in his own words the epistemic and instrumental techniques he employed, and well as the virtues he sought after, is a delight. It was written over two centuries ago, and English has changed since then, but not unrecognizably.

Replies from: beoShaffer
comment by beoShaffer · 2013-01-11T02:00:18.895Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I second the recommendation of Franklin's autobiography. I also ask that you change rationalism to rationality, because the former refers to something completely different.

Replies from: Vaniver
comment by Vaniver · 2013-01-11T02:12:56.320Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Done; thanks for catching the typo!

comment by Jabberslythe · 2013-01-08T22:28:49.483Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Some non-fiction books I really liked recently that might interest Lesswrong:

  • Ubersleep: Nap-Based Sleep Schedules and the Polyphasic Lifestyle

  • Procrastination: Why You Do It, What To Do About It

  • The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution

Replies from: djcb
comment by djcb · 2013-01-20T19:39:24.059Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I liked that third one ("The 10,000 Year Explosion"), which suggests that human evolution has been very much happening in the last 10K years; I wonder if that's a mainstream believe now, and/or if there other books about this.

Replies from: Jabberslythe
comment by Jabberslythe · 2013-01-23T04:03:45.165Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I tried briefly to find some similar books but couldn't see any others.

comment by Mitchell_Porter · 2013-01-09T01:48:47.697Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"The Beginning and the End: The Meaning of Life in a Cosmological Perspective" by Clément Vidal. Technically this is just a "PhD thesis preprint" but it's over 350 pages long. A sprawling manuscript in which the author devises a meaning-of-life philosophy based on systems theory, the conquest of the universe by superintelligence, and other ingredients. The discussions of physics and cosmology are unduly dominated by certain "alternative" theories and could have benefited by orthodox criticism, and no doubt much of the rest should be read skeptically too, but overall, this is worth knowing about, if you're into transhuman cosmo-ethics.

Replies from: gwern
comment by gwern · 2013-01-09T02:58:57.103Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Your description makes it sound like it would be mostly a waste of time and it should go on the very bottom of my reading list.

comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:16:08.211Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fiction Books Thread

Replies from: palladias, Anatoly_Vorobey, magfrump, gwern
comment by palladias · 2013-01-09T05:38:50.942Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I hadn't read Les Miserables in a long time, and I really enjoyed rereading it. There's so much more to learn about a lot of the characters (a bit of Fantine's courtship with the man who abandoned her, Marius's turn toward revolution, a page and a half digression on cannon design during the assault on the barricade). Plus, this description of Javert:

He, Javert personified justice, light, and truth, in their celestial function as destroyers of evil. He was surrounded and supported by infinite depths of authority, reason, precedent, legal conscience, the vengeance of the law, all the stars in the firmament; he protected order, he hurled forth the thunder of the law, he avenged society, he lent aid to the absolute; he stood erect in a halo of glory; there was in his victory a reminder of defiance and of combat; standing haughty resplendent he displayed in full glory the superhuman beastliness of a ferocious archangel; the fearful shadow of the deed which he was accomplishing, making visible in his clenched fist the uncertain flashes of the social sword; happy and indignant, he had set his heel on crime, vice, rebellion, perdition, and hell, he was radiant, exterminating, smiling; there was an incontestable grandeur in this monstrous St. Michael.

comment by Anatoly_Vorobey · 2013-01-08T14:51:53.835Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Roberto Bolaño's 2666 is perhaps the Great Latin American Novel of our generation. It's a sprawling unity of five distinct sub-novels, each revolving around different characters but with some intersections between them. One part, for example, follows the lives of several European literary theorists devoted to the study of a reclusive German writer invented by Bolaño, while a different part, coming much later, is a biography of that writer. Despite the fact that the plots of these sub-novels weave through many places and times - Europe, the US, Hitler's Germany, Soviet Russia - they are all connected in one way or another to a fictional Mexican city of Santa Teresa, lying close to the border with the US, itself modelled closely on the real Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez. Santa Teresa, as Ciudad Juarez in real life, has seen something like an epidemic of feminine rapes/murders over the last 20 years, which may or may not have been the work of unknown serial killer(s). Much of 2666 is devoted to painstaking description of many of these murders, their victims, and the ineptitude and corruption of local police. Those parts are not easy reading, but neither are they suffering porn.

This is a brilliant book, wide-ranging, psychologically precise, often funny, at times painful to read. If you're mainly reading for hedons, you would probably not like it. My mind has been enriched through reading it, and I highly recommend it.

comment by magfrump · 2013-01-09T02:53:19.264Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I just powered through the first five books of the Temeraire series; if you like proper British gentlemen, the Napoleonic wars, civil rights struggles, and also dragons, they are pretty great.

Part of the back of my mind thinks of Temeraire as a budding FAI; incredibly powerful, and with a fairly different set of preferences from most of society, and ends up making some big changes as a result. He doesn't undergo self-enhancement and spiral out of control but there's a very strong Sense That More is Possible, and the struggle to do the right thing as the Only Sane Man is basically the whole plot.

comment by gwern · 2013-01-08T17:52:08.300Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

In descending order (reviews on Goodreads):

  • Brin, Existence
  • Kipling's Kim
  • Musa Pedestris
comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:15:56.464Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Television and Movies Thread

Replies from: MixedNuts, James_Miller, Zaine
comment by MixedNuts · 2013-01-09T19:23:03.608Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The Sherlock BBC series, set in modern London, turns an astounding number of... let's go with "brainy types" into raving fans, but I'm not actually sure why. There's nothing particularly rationalist about it, they're standard detective stories with Sherlock making impossibly precise deductions. The mysteries are fiendishly clever, though; the writers come up with plots that are still surprising if you're familiar with the tropes and the particular stories they parallel.

Characterization is probably the biggest appeal. Holmes is a high-functioning sociopath (his words) and an insufferable self-centered brat (not his words) who slowly defrosts over the series; his love for showing off makes exposition very palatable. Watson is competent, and he knows it; he's solid under stress, a quick thinker, and an excellent marksman; he admires Holmes, but he doesn't hesitate to stand up for himself (a poor choice of words, since he's lame at the beginning of the series). The relationship between the two is a big focus of the series, with Watson learning to deflate Holmes's melodrama and becoming used to his putting-human-eyes-in-the-microwave antics, Holmes learning nonzero social skills and a scrap of concern for others, and way too many gay jokes. Moriarty is... not like you'd expect.

I love the way Sherlock's thoughts are shown, and the editing of the whole thing, but then again I fall over myself squeeing "The Musketeers of Pig Alley uses follow focus YOU GUYS" so take it with a grain of salt.

Overall the show is not subtle ("He's a storyteller! GET IT? GET IT?"), but the acting is (Martin Freeman has an expressive forehead. How does one have an expressive forehead?), and so are some of the references to the original stories. The jokes are funny without taking over the story, though if you're prone to vicarious embarrassment some might hurt a bit. Cumberbatch and Freeman rather cute, if you're into that, as is Pulver in the second season if you're into that.

Be wary of the fandom; it produces excellent fiction and art, but the characters are badly distorted in them, much more prone to express themselves through angsty confessions than through banter about Chinese food.

Replies from: arundelo, shminux, Vaniver
comment by arundelo · 2013-01-10T01:24:59.535Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I like the use of captions to

  • show (some of) Sherlock's observations
  • show text messages and similar, so the camera is pointed at a person rather than a device

It may seem a bit gimmicky at first but I'd like to see it become more common. (Maybe it will as more and more people become used to bits of text popping up over people and things in video games and, eventually, augmented reality.)

Replies from: Michelle_Z
comment by Michelle_Z · 2013-01-11T04:00:12.494Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I thought the whole texts above people's heads thing was refreshing.

comment by shminux · 2013-01-09T19:47:00.245Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The show has a high-quality bromance, if you are into that. The Big Bang Theory's Sheldon/Leonard relationship could have had that, but the sitcom format gets in the way. And also the fact that American humor is generally inferior to British humour.

Oh, and Moriarty providing comic relief, while still being competent and scary is a nice touch.

Replies from: Kawoomba, None
comment by Kawoomba · 2013-01-09T21:26:52.691Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"Have you talked to the police?"

- "Four people are dead, there isn't time to talk to the police!"

"So why are you talking to me?"

- "Mrs. Hudson took my [pet] skull ..."

"So I'm basically filling in for your skull?"

- "Relax. You're doing fine."

comment by [deleted] · 2013-01-09T23:36:29.227Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

American humor is generally inferior to British humour

I was thinking about that earlier this week. It does seem that way. Why IS that?

Replies from: Qiaochu_Yuan
comment by Qiaochu_Yuan · 2013-01-10T00:13:11.507Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
  • Hypothesis 1: It only seems that way. Due to survivorship bias, American audiences are only exposed to the best British humor. Possible test: see if British audiences rate American humor higher than British humor. (I anticipate the answer being no, though.)

  • Hypothesis 2: The process that cultivates American comedic talent is flawed compared to the process that cultivates British comedic talent. I think the process that cultivates American comedic talent is comedy clubs. Possibly these excessively encourage pandering to the lowest common denominator. I have no idea what the process that cultivates British comedic talent is. Possible test: look at comedians who were cultivated in one country but attempted to find success in the other. (I anticipate sample size being an issue.)

  • Hypothesis 3: Due to cultural differences, Americans find British people saying funny things to be funnier than American people saying funny things. May be hard to distinguish from Hypothesis 1, as it may also be true the other way around. Possible test: find something humorous that has been performed by both British and American comedians. (I can't think of anything like this off the top of my head.)

  • Hypothesis 4: It only seems that way to you. Due to cultural differences, British humor appeals more to high-IQ people and American humor appeals more to low-IQ people, and you are generalizing excessively from a small sample of you and people you know. May be related to Hypothesis 2. Possible test: ask people on the street whether they think American or British comedians / shows are funnier. (May be many confounding variables.)

Replies from: Desrtopa, None
comment by Desrtopa · 2013-01-11T03:11:48.238Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I suspect that British culture in general tends to value a sharp sense of humor more highly than American culture. Bill Bryson, a writer who's lived about half of his life in each, wrote that in his experience a British man would likely be less offended by being told he was a terrible lover than that he had no sense of humor, whereas in America he found a sense of humor to be treated as more of an optional extra.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-01-10T06:40:36.096Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think the comment you're replying to was just a reflectivity fail on my part

Story time: my girlfriend asked me "why is British humour funnier?" and I wondered for two seconds and forgot about it. Then I saw shminux's comment and it reminded me so I just asked, and the assumption that British humour IS better was smuggled into my brain because it was embedded in the question I was asked. I probably meant something more like "why do I tend to like British humour better", and now it seems like a stupid thing to ask here. So I'm probably going to lean towards hypothesis 4 unless I learn something new about their culture or television networks.

Heh. I'm not really sure if all of that was worth sharing but I felt like I'd caught myself being silly so I felt an impulse to publicly admit it.

comment by Vaniver · 2013-01-11T01:25:35.859Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

way too many gay jokes.

Eh, I enjoyed the gay jokes. There was like... one an episode? Which isn't a lot when you remember there are only six episodes, but is a lot when you realize it's one an episode.

I love the way Sherlock's thoughts are shown

I really liked this when they did it, but I also thought they did it rather inconsistently. In some of them, they highlight all the clues, and you can draw the inferences (I chided Sherlock through my screen for not getting it in A Study In Pink); in others, they don't highlight them, and it's easy to feel like Watson (Hover for spoiler.).

Replies from: MixedNuts, MixedNuts, MugaSofer
comment by MixedNuts · 2013-01-11T10:23:12.728Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

More than that, I think two or so an episode. There are three in the first (Mrs Hudson, Angelo, and Mycroft), and that's if you count Angelo's shipping of Johnlock and Sherlock's clumsy attempt to let John down gently as one joke. Oddly enough, I can't find a tally, so I'll keep one on my next marathon.

The jokes are good - anything that causes Freeman to act one of his nine or so flavors of exasperation is automatic comedy gold. I'm just complaining about the frequency.

they did it rather inconsistently

I think the mood dictates that. A Study In Pink is meant to show Sherlock's abilities, so we can exclaim "Fantastic!" in chorus with John, which is why we get both clue highlighting and expospeak. Baskerville is about Sherlock losing it a little, so making things less clear helps.

I agree that the characters are sometimes dense. In Reichenbach, Sherlock misses or takes forever to get nearly all of Moriarty's hints, though a large part of it is probably playing dumb. (Moriarty's last move genuinely surprises him, but he didn't phone that one in.) My personal theory for his abysmal stupidity in A Study In Pink is that he starts out incapable of any thinking while distracted (e.g. by Anderson's face) and that improvement in this area is one of the benefits of having a sidekick-caregiver-sober coach.

comment by MixedNuts · 2013-01-15T16:49:58.112Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There it is: Tally of Johnlock-teasing jokes in Sherlock, seasons 1-2. Nitpicking welcome. On average, an episode has a little over two jokes.

comment by MugaSofer · 2013-01-21T14:42:21.048Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

(I chided Sherlock through my screen for not getting it in A Study In Pink)

I would like to know what he hadn't gotten - I just watched ASIP, but I had had the plot spoilered.

Obviously, to avoid doing the same thing to anyone else, rot13 or that link spoiler thing you just did would be a good idea.


Regarding consistency, IIRC they only show that he's checking "wet or dry" on the coat, not what he's trying to learn, but with the jewelry they show the deduction onscreen, even though he exposits it anyway. (I think I danced around the spoilers successfully there.)

Replies from: Vaniver
comment by Vaniver · 2013-01-21T22:54:31.724Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I would like to know what he hadn't gotten - I just watched ASIP, but I had had the plot spoilered.

Jura gurl jrer jnvgvat ng gur erfgnhenag, naq gur pno chyyrq hc, vg jnf boivbhf gb zr gung gur pnoovr jnf gur crefba gurl jrer vagrerfgrq va, abg gur cnffratre.

comment by James_Miller · 2013-01-08T03:37:33.020Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Everybody Loves Raymond Season 4, Ep.22 "Bad Moon Rising." Available on Netflix's Watch Instantly.

Sitcom episode that brilliantly explores the relationship between reflective irrationality and empathy when a wife is exceptionally irritable because of PMS.

Replies from: EricHerboso
comment by EricHerboso · 2013-01-10T15:03:36.845Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

While I appreciate the recommendation and understand why you recommended it after just now watching it on netflix, I honestly can't get over this laugh track. How do people watch shows with laughs in the background like this? I find it not only extremely distracting but also a bit insulting to have the show give me a cue of when I should find things funny.

Replies from: drethelin
comment by drethelin · 2013-01-10T19:14:53.066Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

the sensation of being around people makes it easier to laugh. This is very noticeable for me, since I have room-mates. Occasionally I'll watch the new daily show myself and think it's ok, and then my room-mate will be watching it and I'll happen to be watching it with him and laugh out loud a lot more. Laughter is inherently a social signal. A laugh track can help trigger this impulse

comment by Zaine · 2013-01-09T12:45:29.220Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The Korean drama Coffee Prince. I was shocked at how self-aware the characters mostly all are, how reasonable and sympathetic their emotional dilemmas are, and was especially impressed at how well each side of an emotional dilemma communicates with the other. It's seventeen hours long, and has a feel-good atmosphere. Romance is the main theme.

comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:15:44.728Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Music Thread

Replies from: gwern, FiftyTwo
comment by gwern · 2013-01-08T18:07:27.301Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Touhou (reverse chronological order):


comment by FiftyTwo · 2013-01-08T16:15:11.990Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What music do people listen to while they're working?

Replies from: Kingoftheinternet, fiddlemath, AngryParsley, Mestroyer
comment by Kingoftheinternet · 2013-01-08T16:33:58.700Z · LW(p) · GW(p)


Replies from: RobertLumley, DaFranker, bbleeker
comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T22:49:16.495Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The name of that alone makes it worth downloading.

comment by DaFranker · 2013-01-29T16:21:35.964Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Love at first sight. <3

Thanks for the rec, Kingoftheinternet!

comment by bbleeker · 2013-01-08T21:12:00.409Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I love it! I'm downloading the lot.

comment by fiddlemath · 2013-01-09T09:07:09.447Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I maintain a spotify playlist, here. If you have spotify, this should be a direct link: spotify:user:fiddlemath:playlist:6Iv5fSaguXWHta0Iu80i2N

A few game and movie soundtracks. Instrumental or nearly-instrumental, some odd, kind-of-jangly loud stuff occasionally.

Probably not as good as musicForProgramming(); is, but you can pick among the tracks a lot more easily.

comment by AngryParsley · 2013-01-09T10:53:41.859Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

English vocals tend to distract me, so much of my work music is ambient. All album links are to Spotify.

Many of the names are pretentious, but I find the music pleasant.

comment by Mestroyer · 2013-01-12T06:36:32.026Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Stuff the the artist "The Luna Sequence" For example, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSL3m8FvQs8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIugHNAT-Ns http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yem6NM8Vw-c She's one of the few artists where I actually like most of her stuff, instead of just one or two songs.

Also, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXNkfwOqosA (Only song I really like from Atlas Plug)

and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMtHC4u8lFI

comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:15:29.729Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Other Media Thread

Replies from: Swimmy, lukeprog, gwern, FiftyTwo, lukeprog, Jayson_Virissimo, Michelle_Z, Manfred
comment by Swimmy · 2013-01-08T07:50:27.579Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not a videogame per se, but still a potential timesink for some of us. I like it anyway.

Space Engine is a free space simulation software that lets you explore the universe in three dimensions, starting from planet Earth to the most distant galaxies. Areas of the known universe are represented using actual astronomical data, while regions uncharted by human astronomy are generated procedurally. Millions of galaxies, trillions of stars, countless planets!

So, a space simulator. Allows FTL travel to get between universes. No interesting creatures like Noctis had, but it is very pretty sometimes.

Edit: Also prone to crashing. Such is life.

Replies from: None, curiousepic
comment by [deleted] · 2013-01-12T04:15:45.327Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I love this, but I'm disappointed that planets don't seem to render at all (on Wine.)

Replies from: Swimmy
comment by Swimmy · 2013-01-12T07:55:52.250Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Have you tried landing on them with shift+g instead of flying into them? If so, I got nothing. They render for me, if slowly.

comment by curiousepic · 2013-01-08T16:43:42.124Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Likewise, Kerbal Space Program, which is somewhere between Space Engine and the hardcore space sim Orbiter. It consumed about a month of my life.

If you checked it out when it was first released, I highly recommend (staying away from) its current state - it has matured very well.

comment by lukeprog · 2013-01-08T05:23:48.953Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Game theory with translucent players.

Replies from: Manfred
comment by Manfred · 2013-01-08T08:18:41.116Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

(This suggests that it may be mutually beneficial for two countries to spy on each other!)

Hmm. That sounds famili... hey, have these guys been reading The Strategy of Conflict?

comment by gwern · 2013-01-08T17:46:25.904Z · LW(p) · GW(p)


  • Oyasumi Punpun scanlations have continued updating: the series is becoming ever more harrowing and difficult to read as it nears the end. I'm glad I started but I'm not sure I'd recommend it.
  • Milkman manga: weird and sometimes hilarious.
  • Thermae Romae anime: even weirder and more amusing, and the 3 episodes means that it doesn't outwear its welcome before the gimmick gets old.
  • Upotte!! anime: I enjoyed the battles and found the gun nut parts mildly interesting, but the sexualizing and fanservice with a weak finishing episode mean I can't recommend it.
  • Humanity Has Declined anime: lovely artwork, hilarious end to the first episode, and it's continuing to hold my interest up to episode 6; we'll see how the rest goes.
  • Joshiraku anime: a disappointment, and I say this as a Sayonara fan.
Replies from: Desrtopa
comment by Desrtopa · 2013-01-08T17:51:05.108Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oyasumi Punpun scanlations have continued updating: the series is becoming ever more harrowing and difficult to read as it nears the end. I'm glad I started but I'm not sure I'd recommend it.

As the person who introduced Oyasumi Punpun to Tvtropes, I'll note that the forum discussion on the series quickly turned to other things you can read afterwards to pick your mood up. I'm holding off on reading the more recent updates until I can find something adequately heartwarming.

Replies from: gwern
comment by gwern · 2013-01-08T17:53:58.955Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Indeed. Note that all the anime or manga I watched following the OP update could be described as comedy or action...

comment by Jayson_Virissimo · 2013-01-08T08:03:18.522Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've been playing the Uncharted series for PS3 to help me learn Spanish. So far, it seems ideal for this purpose. The speaking is very clear, the (foreign language) subtitles reflect what is actually being said (almost always), and the gameplay and story are quite good (imagine Indiana Jones, but with a lot more parkour). There are also many other language options besides Spanish (including French and Portuguese).

Note: My PSN ID is 'Thomas_Bayes'.

Replies from: RobertLumley, None
comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-09T11:45:01.233Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hey, that's my internet/video game moniker. Funny how that happens. I generally drop the underscore though.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-01-09T07:17:04.099Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Holy crap, I never thought of that. Considering replaying Uncharted 3...

Replies from: Jayson_Virissimo
comment by Jayson_Virissimo · 2013-01-09T09:02:17.319Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Holy crap, I never thought of that. Considering replaying Uncharted 3...

In what language?

Replies from: None
comment by [deleted] · 2013-01-09T18:20:35.233Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd play in Spanish. I studied for several years but could use a refresher.

comment by Michelle_Z · 2013-01-08T02:58:35.942Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Anyone heard of brainscale? It's got Dual N Back, mental math, and some other games that are supposed to help with memory.

comment by Manfred · 2013-01-11T03:45:57.257Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

In progress manga: Uchuu Kyoudai, a story for grown-ups about becoming an astronaut. Also neat because nearly all the characters are intelligent (and even act like it!), and that's treated as normal and fun.

comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:15:23.709Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Meta Thread

Replies from: RomeoStevens, RobertLumley
comment by RomeoStevens · 2013-01-09T09:29:37.237Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thank you for making and maintaining these, I've found quite a bit of interesting material through these threads.

comment by RobertLumley · 2013-01-08T02:19:38.813Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Please note that per last month's poll (although it was close) three new threads were added this month, the Fanfiction thread, the Online videos thread, and the Short Online Texts thread. In full disclosure, I have a slight preference for not having these be threads, since it means I have to look up three more thread names and make three more comments, so I'll reconsider whether or not to keep making these based on use and feedback.